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"Salmon with Cabbage and Rice in Coconut Milk"
2 big salmon filets or salmon steaks, seasoned with garlic salt mixed with parsley, white and black pepper, and seasoned salt, all, to taste
3 Tbs. dende* (palm oil), or sesame seed, peanut, or vegetable oil
1/4 HEAPING tsp. EACH cumin seed and coriander seed, both toasted and very finely crushed
1/4 tsp. EACH dried shrimp** and dill weed
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. finely chopped malagueta chili pepper***, or crushed red pepper
About 1½ heaping tsp. sugar
3/4 of a medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 of a very small cabbage, chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/4 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp. EACH lime and lemon juice
1 tsp. cassava flour****, or rice flour
3/4 to 1 cup cooked rice
Salt and Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place salmon in a baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for approximately 25 minutes, depending on your oven.
While fish is baking, heat oil in a medium skillet. Add cumin, coriander, dried shrimp, dill weed, cinnamon, malagueta or red pepper, sugar, and onion. Over medium heat, cook and stir for about 2 minutes. Add bell pepper and cabbage. Lower heat, and cook and stir for another few minutes. Add 1/4 tsp. salt and some black pepper, to taste. Continue cooking and stirring for another few minutes until cabbage becomes somewhat limp. Add coconut milk, lime and lemon juices, and mix well. Sprinkle flour over mixture, then stir it in to mix well. Add rice. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture thickens. Taste for needed salt and pepper.
Divide sauce between two serving plates. Place baked salmon in the center of sauce. Serve immediately.
*Dende Oil is a variety of palm oil, REQUIRED in a great many African dishes on the continent and in Brazil. Palm oil is used to color and impart characteristic flavors to certain preparations. Available at African and a few specialty food stores.
**Dried Shrimp (Whole or ground) contain a strong, or sharp, salty flavor. Africans on the continent and in Brazil use it extensively in their cuisine. It is also used in Caribbean and Southeast Asian dishes. Can be soaked in water before using. Available in one-ounce packaging in Asian and Latin American food stores.
***Malagueta Chili Pepper is a “main ingredient” chili, particularly for West Africans and Africans in Brazil. Available bottled, in some specialty grocery stores, and from one or two mail order houses.
****Cassava Flour (Meal) is the dried and ground form of cassava, and is used to make bread and as a thickening agent for sauces, soups, and stews. By far Cassava’s most popular form, it is sometimes called gari in West Africa, farinhe de mandioca, or manioc, in Brazil, and tapioca in Western societies.